Room for admission seekers, the St Stephen’s way

By Azera Rahman, IANS,

New Delhi : It’s first time in Delhi for Nagaland residents Marisha and her father. At a loss on where to stay while seeking admission in Delhi University, St. Stephen’s College came to their rescue with their hostel-turned-hotel facility for aspiring students and their parents.

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Started on an experimental basis, the St.Stephen’s initiative of throwing open one of its six hostels, or residence as they are more popularly known, for accommodating aspiring students and their guardians has got a good response.

The residence is empty around this time of the year since the students go home after exams for the summer break.

“It’s a brilliant initiative. We came to know of this facility through the college website and applied for it. So we have been saved from the hassle of running around for accommodation and food and can concentrate on what we have come here for – admissions,” Marisha David told IANS.

Allnut South Girls residence’s 42 rooms have been thrown open for the proxy accommodation purpose. It is, however, open to only those students who have qualified for interview in St.Stephen’s.

“It was the principal’s idea to turn the residence into accommodation for students and their guardians who come here during admissions. The idea was to help the outstation people, who face a lot of inconvenience during this time,” an official of the college told IANS.

Namita Verma, the warden of the hostel, said: “There are 21 single and 21 double rooms. The charge for a single room is Rs.500 per day and for a double room Rs.750. An additional Rs.200 is charged for the meals which include breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Some rooms are reserved for women.

“Anywhere you go, even if to not-very-good-hotels in places like Karol Bagh, you won’t get a double room for less than Rs.1,500. And then you have the headache of eating out. Moreover, it helps the college in getting some funds,” she added.

While 36 families have booked rooms until now, officials say that it is an ongoing process.

The accommodation facility started June 13 and is made available until July 4, when the admission process gets over.

Shalini Dey, who has come for her daughter’s admission in the reputed college and is staying in the residence, said that other colleges could emulate the idea.

“Our elder son is a student of another college here and I remember when we came for his admission last year, the search for a hotel close by, the running to and fro in the campus, and for food were such a headache,” she said.

Sitting at the college’s cafeteria and eating scrambled egg on toast for breakfast, Dey told IANS: “But this time things are much smoother. We just did the bookings here on the internet before coming and henceforth didn’t have to step out of the college gate for anything.”

However, unlike a hotel, there are some restrictions here — one of them being no smoking and drinking anywhere in the campus. Guests are also asked to return to the rooms latest by 10 p.m.

“We are okay with the rules. In fact, it’s good they have these restrictions because it just helps maintain the sanctity of the place and has a good family environment,” said Stephen David, a parent.

(Azera Rahman can be contacted at [email protected])